Monday, June 4, 2012


Bullying is an age-old problem getting a lot of new attention. Cyberbullying is a regular part of our vocabulary. The documentary, Bully, is required viewing in some communities.

Now, the Y is taking bullying head on.

Dr. Joel Haber, the Bully Coach, speaks to YMCA youth 
leadership staff about how to identify and prevent bullying.
“At the YMCA, our top priority is the safety of children in our care. We always want to provide our youth leaders and counselors with the tools to do their jobs effectively,” said Betsy Peters, YMCA of the Triangle regional vice president. “We can’t allow bullying to interfere with children enjoying camp to the fullest.”

National surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years. At least 10% are bullied on a regular basis. That’s why the YMCA of the Triangle invited the nation’s leading bullying prevention and solutions expert, Dr. Joel Haber, to lead summer day camp trainings.

“We’re proud to say we’ve never tolerated violence in YMCA youth programs. Our counselors requested specific training on how to stop bullying,” said Marco Ramirez, associate director of the Kraft Family YMCA. “It seemed logical that we would want to learn about bullying prevention from the best."

Dr. Haber, The Bully Coach™, is the American Camp Association’s (ACA) official bullying consultant. He helped set the standard for anti-bullying prevention for all accredited summer camps that went into effect this year.

On June 1 and 2, Dr. Haber led sessions with YMCA youth leadership staff, YMCA Summer Day Camp staff and Wake County Public School leaders. He offered tips on how counselors and other campers can identify bullying and how to stop it.

“A camp counselor’s job is to be a hero,” said Dr. Haber. “Discussing camper rules and role modeling good behavior lets campers know that bullying is not tolerated.”

The Respect U Camp Program helps camp personnel identify potential bullies in their staff or campers and "hot-spots" where bullying occurs. His program includes the specific tools needed to reduce bullying: hurtful gossip, relational aggression, sports bullying and cyberbullying.

Learn more about the Respect U program. There’s still time to register for YMCA Summer Day Camp. Check out the possibilities.

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